Brokers across America do a great job of promoting their listings to potential home buyers and sellers with attractive flyers, online promotions, open houses, and effective website promotion, not to mention MLS promotion. Most brokers have a well-oiled system for building attractive marketing materials to sell their listings quickly.
In my view, there’s a hole in the focus of marketing departments. Very few of the brokerages that we work focus on promoting their OWN brand and service offerings to their OWN agents. Brokers like to complain about the lack of adoption of tools and technologies. They wistfully talk about the agent they lost to a competitor because the grass looked greener at the other brokerage. Many times the agent leaves because the competitor promises some exciting marketing program. Unfortunately, there are too many times when the broker they just left had the SAME marketing program but the agent didn’t even know it!
I believe that both of these challenges can be addressed, at least to some extent with a more concerted effort to take credit for the culture, support, training and programs that brokers offer their agents.
Brokerages need to dedicate marketing resources to first clarifying the unique value their brand and culture offers to its agents. In other words, what is the company’s secret sauce? What makes it unique? What makes it the best place for an agent to hang their license? If you don’t know the answer to these questions, any efforts you put forth will likely miss the mark.
Second, brokers need to step up their game with the type of personnel they hire for marketing. Gone are the days of marketing “secretaries” that were hired mainly to set up listings in the MLS and make pretty flyers. Marketing is a lot more strategic now. Your marketing team can be one of THE best ways to ensure that your agents hang around because they understand, appreciate and embrace the unique programs and approach that your brokerage provides them. You need to hire marketing strategists that can be your partner in figuring out ways to stand apart from your competitors and retain agents.
Next, resources need to be dedicated to ongoing promotion of the tools, training, support and mentoring that your brokerage offers them. You need to regularly take credit for the value they receive from your portion of the commission split. Agents are busy and have short memories. Every program needs to be presented to them in their terms, providing the reasons why it will be help them be more successful with less effort.
Just because you launch a product and offer one training program doesn’t mean that you are going to see universal adoption of a new tool. It takes daily, weekly and monthly ongoing promotion of every tool you offer before it will break through and become the norm. For example, if you’re trying to increase adoption of a document management solution you first need to spend a ton of time helping agents understand why online folders are better than paper folders – how they will help them sell a property more quickly, with less hassles and less risk of making a mistake that could cost them a lawsuit. You need to help them understand how consumers are MUCH happier with online transactions where they can watch the progress of the deal in real-time.
Next, the marketing team can work closely with your trainer to be sure there are educational materials available that help an agent embrace new ideas and learn how to take credit for them in their listing presentations.
Case studies can be helpful too. For example, if you work with brands like LeadingRE, ongoing promotion and reminders of the value of that network can be THE one thing that might close the deal for a luxury listing. Use an example of one of your agents who effectively leveraged the company’s partnerships to secure a great new listing. The more in- tune agents are with the partnerships you have in place for branding, marketing, relocation, etc. the stronger their alliance will be to your brand.
It’s time to stop limiting your thinking and realize that marketing is not dedicated ONLY to properties and remember that your agents need to be constantly reminded of the value you provide them. Otherwise, one of your competitors may steal them from you.